A graphic exhibition based on our hugely successful A is for Animals held at the Memorial between February and July 2009 is touring regional Australia. With generous assistance from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs commemorations program, A Digger’s Best Friend: an A to Z of Animals in War recognises not only military dogs, but all animals that have worked alongside Australians in war for over one hundred years.
Curators of the exhibition have drawn together a fascinating array of images from the Memorial’s National Collection. They include working animals such horses, mules, pigeons and camels – and others equally important as friends: the mascots, pets and companions that gave soldiers affection, hope and relief from the stress of war.
In a twist upon the theme of man’s best friend, the exhibition also delves into those creepy-crawlies from the animal and insect kingdoms that have made life difficult and even deadly for soldiers. Drawings and photographs reveal rats in the trenches, flies in a ration tin and even a monstrous cobra that moved in with the Australian occupants of a four-man tent in Vietnam in 1967.
An exhibition for all ages, A Digger’s Best Friend represents an exciting direction for the Memorial’s travelling exhibition program. Recognising the value of providing families with a museum experience that answers the learning needs of children, the curators have worked closely with teachers and literacy consultants to develop a child-friendly exhibition that encourages children to learn in the company of their adult family.
|Eden Killer Whale Museum||Eden||NSW||5 December 2009||31 January 2010|
|Narooma Library||Narooma||NSW||5 February 2010||21 March 2010|
|Narellan Library||Narellan||NSW||26 March 2010||9 May 2010|
|Eskbank House and Museum||Lithgow||NSW||17 May 2010||25 July 2010|
|Peppin Heritage Centre||Deniliquin||NSW||10 August 2010||15 September 2010|
|Parkes Shire Library||Parkes||NSW||22 October 2010||21 November 2010|
|Rosny Historic Centre||Rosny||TAS||2 December 2010||16 January 2011|
|Devonport LINC||Devonport||TAS||24 January 2011||6 March 2011|
|Castlemaine Historical Society||Castlemaine||VIC||12 May 2011||28 June 2011|